How is the UK doing economically?
Nearly every week there seems to be another key economic indicator released telling us how the UK is performing.
On 2 March, the Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI survey indicated that confidence in the manufacturing sector was at a seven month high. But, beneath the positive headlines, uncertainties over Europe have contributed to business investment recording its largest fall since 2009 in Q4 of 2014. The EU is still grappling with a weak economy, Greek debt and war on its border in Ukraine. Added to this is the UK’s continued uncertainty over its long-term commitment to the EU.
That being said, when we look deeper into the PMI analysis, there are positive indicators that job creation in the sector will continue to grow, a buoyant domestic market and lower input prices. Going into the next Parliament, there is real potential for the manufacturing sector to build on this momentum to rebalance the economy for the better, but only by continuing to invest in skills through apprenticeships, tax breaks for plant and machinery investment, and infrastructure.